Costain's Sue Kershaw provides her thoughts on the role of infrastructure in building back 'better, greener and faster' in an interview out this week as part of Burges Salmon's #viewsoninfra campaign.  Sue's comments about the greater willingness for collaboration to do things differently very much resonates with what we are seeing across the sector.  

In particular, Sue's observations that the pandemic has done nothing to dampen investor commitment to ESG, and the increasing importance of decarbonisation and biodiversity in infrastructure project decision-making, echoes a great deal of the conversation in this week's CBI Conference on Achieving Net Zero

It strikes me that these are some themes to watch: 

  • Climate resilience is key to long term returns on investment: in a changing climate, infrastructure must be designed to withstand the droughts, floods, fires and heatwaves of the coming decades. 
  •  Investors expect good preparation: the UK was under-prepared for the shock of COVID-19 but with ample climate risk modeling tools in the market already, investors will not tolerate the same mistakes again. 
  • Investors are ready to step up: there is a good deal of money waiting to find a home in sustainable infrastructure projects, driven by increased awareness of the value of understanding, and managing, ESG risk, and long-term returns.